For a premium charting package the Aspen Graphics workstation falls short. I did a free trial of this software that I thought was supposed to be for 2 weeks but they cut it off after 9 days. This charting package is not user friendly but they made up for it by providing training via telephone.
The first problem I had was getting several of my charts to work during the electronically traded non-pit hours. I was never able to get the S&P (SP) and NYMEX crude (CL) to work after hours. Substituting ES (the e-mini) and QM (the CME e-mini for oil) didn’t help. Nothing the Aspen people suggested worked.
The next problem was that the connection was broken every day. I’m not sure if this happens after a period of inactivity or if it closes briefly at the end of the day, but every time I went back to my computer after getting some sleep it was no longer connected to the data. The only way to reconnect is to close the program and restart it. Of course this is intolerable if you rely on audio alerts to warn you of breakouts.
Another annoying feature is the snap-to-grid function. This is supposed to make it easy to line up all of your charts on a page. However it doesn’t work properly and always forces some of your charts to overlap others, leaving gaps between some of the charts. This feature can be disabled but the program always starts up in the snap-to-grid mode which means that at the beginning of every trading session you have to waste time dragging your charts around.
This program also malfunctioned once causing everything on my display to go haywire. I had to reboot my computer to fix this. My computer is a very stable and well maintained (P4, 512 Ram, Windows 2000 Pro) and the problem originated with the Aspen charting program.
I also found that there were not enough colors and shades of colors to choose from for the charts and indicators.
Overall, I can not recommend Aspen charts for anyone. CQG is better and the Futuresource workstation is better for less money than Aspen.